Just letting you know how much I liked the cover of your February 24 issue and Wen Stephenson’s article “From Occupy to Climate Justice.” I always thought the ballerina on the bull was one of the most striking images to come out of Occupy Wall Street, and I love what you’ve done with it. I was a member of the Occupy sustainability working group in 2011 and did some workshops at the park on the climate crisis.
At its best, Occupy prefigured a world beyond the growth model, and the climate crisis has added a terrifying deadline for getting to that world, as Stephenson suggests. The two problems are mutually exacerbating, with climate impacts intensifying inequality, and inequality blocking solutions to the climate crisis (Christian Parenti’s Tropic of Chaos explores this really well).
This analysis was always a part of OWS, although we’ve become much, much better at articulating it since those early days—look at the incredible work done by Occupy alumni involved in tar sands resistance, for instance, or the powerful work still being done by Occupy the Pipeline in New York City. Those are just two that spring to mind; I could name dozens more. Fascinating story, beautiful image.
Tiny Tasks, Tiniest Pay
Moshe Z. Marvit’s “The Wages of Crowdwork” [Feb. 24] was a revelation to me. I never bought into the “technology will make us free in a flat world” meme, but the extent of the slave-wage exploitation of hooked “independent contractors” by big-time corporate players had been hidden in the cloud from me. I’m better informed now and more exquisitely miserable.
In “‘Think of Me With Joy’” [Feb. 10], Julia Klein claims that Sholem Aleichem, the pen name of Sholem Rabinowitz, means “Peace be unto you” in Yiddish. Actually, it’s Hebrew. Sholem is a variant of shalom (Hebrew) and salaam (Arabic). Yiddish is derived from German; in fact, Yiddish is the equivalent of the German Jüdisch, which means “Jewish.”
rohnert park, calif.
We consulted Gennady Estraikh, professor of Hebrew, Judaic and Yiddish studies at NYU, who wrote the following. —The editors